Are toxins trapped in your fat cells?
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Article originally published in Here & Now magazine May 2004 & since updated
Toxins. You cannot escape them.
Whether you’re sitting cross legged at the top of a mountain or cocooned in a controlled environment in a glass bubble with triple air filtration, toxins will be in your body.
There are numerous external toxins we hear about where the major external methods of absorption are ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact. Then there are toxins the body produces when out of balance e.g. from eating inappropriate food, or eating to quickly which can putrify food in the gut and lead to fermentation,
There are two forms of toxins. The first are soluble toxins such as salts, which can dissolve in water and are excreted through urine.
About fat soluble toxins
The second are fat soluble toxins. These are much harder for the body to eliminate as the body is very clever at holding onto certain resistant toxins. These include pesticides, herbicides, paint solvents, toxic metals and many more. Most are eliminated through feaces, and the liver is critical to detoxify fat soluble toxins.
These toxins are locked into the fatty components of various tissues such as fat itself and neuronal (nerve) tissue, composed mainly of fat. Our brain is also mostly made of fat. Water soluble techniques will not allow the release of most of these toxins, and if some are released, they are usually reabsorbed on the way out.
Over the years I’ve noticed a definite increase in the amount of people with chemical sensitivity. Chemicals accumulated in the body produce chemical sensitivity. You may think you haven’t been exposed to any chemicals and eat organically so it’s not your problem. But I’m afraid it is. And if you have known chemical exposure then the problem could be even worse.
To bring home this point, here’s some personal history. Back in 1986 when I was breast feeding my first child, it seemed that he didn’t want to feed very easily, so being the analytical person that I am, the first thing I thought of was what was wrong with the milk. Because I had been working in a pathology lab, I thought I’d get my milk tested.
Well I was blown away with the test results as I had above acceptable levels of PCB’s, Chlordane, Heptachlor, Dieldrin…and the list goes on. And yes, this is from a person with no known chemical exposure.
In Sherry Rogers book ‘Detoxify or Die’ she states research from the American Environmental Protection Agency study of 400 Americans showed 100% – yes every single person studied – had stores of carcinogens such as Dioxins, PCB’s, Dichlorobenzene, Styrene and Xylene to name a few. Research from Turusov of the World Health Organisation states, ‘There are probably no clean pesticide free animals, fish or humans left on the face of earth’.
Since that time I have been on a mission to clean myself of these toxic chemicals and to a certain degree, with the tools I have available, I have been able to achieve this. But I find that I can at times still be sensitive to some chemicals, such as when a client comes into the clinic wearing a strong smelling perfume, I get a headache or sneeze.
Apart from chemicals, heavy metals can be also be a challenge to clear (which I also had in my system).
What Are Heavy Metals?
There is actually no precise definition for the term ‘heavy metal’ in chemistry (although it applies to some rock bands). The term is really slang for polluting metal ions that are persistent and potentially toxic in the environment. A more meaningful term is ‘metal toxicity’ and the most commonly encountered toxic metals are aluminium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel. Toxic metals tend to accumulate in fatty tissues as do chemicals. Let’s look at some of the more common toxic minerals.
Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Psychosis, Osteomalacia, muscle pain, colic, gastroenteritis, liver dysfunction, microcytic hypochromic anaemia.
Associated with: hair loss, (alopecia), dry scaly skin, yellow teeth, osteoporosis, kidney and liver damage, increased blood pressure, fatigue, emphysema.
Associated with: behavioural abnormalities, cognitive impairment, uncoordination, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, restlessness, anaemia, anorexia, constipation, muscle and bone pain, peripheral neuropathy.
Associated with depression, emotional instability, loss of vision or hearing, tremors, weak, tired, psychotic and thirst.
Associated with skin allergies, fever, insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomitting, diarrhoea, short or rapid breathing, apathy.
How to clear toxins from your body
First, consult with a qualified health practitioner who is experienced in detoxification.
Protocols may include:
– tests to determine toxicity levels, including ‘heavy metal’ tests
– practical advice on how to reduce the toxic load in your body
– supplementation with important nutrients to support the body to detoxify
– a nutritional therapeutic intermittent fast with specific supportive foods for your liver and other detox organs
– a sustainable long-term diet: recipes with lots of variety to maintain vitality
– colonic irrigation